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17 Mar 2013

Sex on the Table

You may be envisioning dishes crashing to the floor along with articles of clothing as the chandelier swings overhead. Well, that just may be the outcome after you’ve tried some of the suggestions we are about to give you. Interested? Read on!

Our bodies respond in every way to the nutrients we put into them. We have clear skin, shiny hair, toned muscles, strong hearts and over all good health because we nourish our bodies. Nourishment is required for good health but it is also a requirement for good sex. There are many nutrients that are beneficial to our sex lives.

In order to have great sex we want to be in the best possible health. Here is the sometimes dreaded component to our overall good health—exercise. We are fit, and that doesn’t mean that we all weigh 99 pounds with wash board abs; it means that we are taking care of ourselves and feeling good about it. We are enjoying life, listening to our bodies, and making good choices. Foods and herbs that nourish and stimulate our circulatory and nervous system can actually take us from a ho-hum sex life to one that brings the dishes crashing to the floor!

Researchers are finding that indeed some foods and herbs can stimulate the production of hormones and other chemicals which increase sexual desire. Nutrients like B vitamins, vitamin E, zinc, and essential fatty acids help metabolize hormones. Vitamin E and zinc nourish our adrenal, thyroid, and pituitary glands; these two nutrients also play a role in supporting and nourishing testes and ovaries. Zinc may end up at the bottom of the list due to its first letter but it belongs on the top of the list here when it comes to great sex! Zinc is well known for its libido and sperm production qualities in men. Have we mentioned green leafy vegetables yet? Well, here we go again! Green leafy vegetables will take you from the table to the bedroom

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“Nitric Oxide (NO) is a two atom gas made by the endothelium tissue in blood vessels in the lining of sex organs,” writes Lynn Edlen-Nezin, Ph.D., clinical health psychologist and co-author of Great Food, Great Sex (2006). She continues, “When you become sexually aroused, a neurotransmitter sends a message to the lining of the genitals to release NO which causes blood vessels to expand… What’s good for the heart is good for genitals” (Fried & Edlen-Nezen, 2006).

Folate is heart protective and is thought to lower a harmful substance called homocysteine which is an abrasive amino acid that irritates the lining of the arteries and encourages plaque to adhere. A high level of homocysteine is a significant risk factor for peripheral arterial disease. Folate rich foods include; green leafy vegetables like spinach, Swiss chard, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and broccoli.

For arousal and stamina in both men and women we need to have better blood flow to our genitalia. When blood vessels expand, men are able to have strong penile erections and women’s genitalia respond by becoming lubricated and engorged. Magnesium which helps to dilate blood vessels aids the process of blood flow to the genitals and creates greater arousal for men and women. Magnesium also facilitates the production of the female hormone estrogen. Green leafy vegetables come to the rescue again along with whole grains such as brown rice and whole wheat bread as well as beans and nuts.

Here is another heavy hitter! Arginine, an amino acid, stimulates blood flow and promotes the creation of nitric oxide. Foods rich in this amino acid are almonds, walnuts, salmon, cod, halibut, and omega 3 fortified eggs. Omega 3 fatty acids can lower triglycerides; increase the production of dopamine lighting up the pleasure center in your brain and significantly improving cardiovascular health. If you decide to take an omega 3 supplement, make sure that you are buying a good quality product.

Aphrodisiacs are thought to work in several ways. Aphrodisiacs can stimulate the mind by creating sexual desire either by the experience and sensation of eating them or just by their appearance. Commonly known aphrodisiacs may also possess nutrients that support the production of sex hormones. Chocolate, avocado, bananas, watermelon, figs, asparagus, almonds, celery, pumpkin seeds, oysters, caviar, sea cucumber, chilies, garlic, and honey are commonly available aphrodisiacs.

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Herbs and some common kitchen spices have been used by men and women over the centuries to enhance their sexual drive and performance. These powerful players may be holding a rather insignificant place in your kitchen cabinet but what I’m about to tell you may just elevate their status to front shelf and center.

  • BASIL is used to support circulation, stimulate sexual desire, and boost fertility
  • CINNAMON is used to reduce blood sugar levels which can be the cause of decreased libido
  • SAFFRON has a substance that stimulates the neurotransmitters in the brain and the libido
  • NUTMEG has a stimulating fragrance, sweetens the breath, and increases body heat
  • CARDAMOM is aromatic, it is high in cineole which can increase blood flow
  • GARLIC contains high levels of allicin, a compound that can improve blood flow

You may want to see your family herbalist to obtain some of the following effective herbs if using herbs is new to you. Your herbalist will work with you to determine which herbs would be best for you. The following are just a few readily available herbs that you can find at your local health food store.

  • DAMIANA is used for a calming effect on the nervous system and sexual organs, to help the production of testosterone, and increase sensitivity in the genitals.
  • HAWTHORN is used to support heart function and for its effects on blood flow, which may improve sexual function as well as promote female engorgement.
  • GINSENG is used to support blood flow in the brain and sexual organs.
  • HORNY GOAT is used to promote neural activity, sexual desire, to increase sensitivity in sexual organs, and to increase the production of sperm.
  • GINKO is used to promote circulation which increases cerebral and genital blood flow; dopamine, adrenaline and neurotransmitters may be heightened to allow for greater pleasure and arousal.

REFERENCES

Fried, R. L., & Edlen-Nezen, L. (2006). Great food, great sex: the three food factors for sexual fitness. New York: Ballantine Books.

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